US Teacher Accused of Anti-Semitism After Allegedly Telling Students 'How to Torture a Jew'

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Chairs are seen in a classroom - Sputnik International, 1920, 08.02.2022
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The purported remark was made during the Bible history elective class, which has been funded by century-old non-profit organisation, The Bible in the Schools. According to its website the Bible history programme is inclusive to students from all walks of life.
A mother filed a complaint with Hamilton County Schools in Chattanooga, Tennessee after learning that a teacher haD been making "anti-Semitic comments", according to reports in local media.
Juniper Russo, who is Jewish and a member of the Mizpah congregation, said the incident occurred during a Bible history lesson. The teacher wrote on the blackboard an English translation of the Hebrew name for God, which is traditionally only written in the Torah and not spoken out loud.

"If you want to know how to torture a Jew, make them say this out loud," the teacher said, according to Ms Russo, who described the remark as "very aggressive and very abrasive".

She said her 13-year-old daughter felt extremely uncomfortable hearing the teacher say those words and "didn’t feel safe" in the class.

Russo said she initially didn’t want her daughter to take the elective class, but it was the only option since her daughter’s disabilities prevent her from choosing other electives.

"I don’t love that this is even a programme in state schools. But I also thought, if it really is just being taught as literature, I don’t mind my kid learning [this]," she said.

Besides the quoted remark, the teacher allegedly showed pictures which Russo felt were also anti-Semitic.

An animated video shown to students depicted descendants of Abraham and Sarah - the patriarch and matriarch of the Jewish and other people - as shadowy characters with pointy noses holding bags of coins.

In addition to that, Russo claimed that the teacher taught that the Book of Genesis is the factual story of how the universe was created.
The 34-year-old wanted to meet the teacher to discuss her remarks and the programme, but says that the teacher refused, citing school policy.

After that Russo asked to take her daughter out of the class and reported the incident to the Anti-Defamation League, an international Jewish non-governmental organisation.

The Hamilton County Schools said it is aware of the incident and is now holding an investigation. "[We] will take appropriate steps based on the findings of that review," the district board said in a statement.
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